Durian sellers try to sell $300 worth of 'top-quality' durians, end up losing money instead

Durian sellers try to sell $300 worth of 'top-quality' durians, end up losing money instead
PHOTO: Facebook/ Eugene Lau

Door-to-door durian sellers are still around, it seems. The first cases were reported two years ago, but a post by a netizen on Thursday (May 4) proves they are still at it - asking people to buy durians at exorbitant prices.

According to the Facebook post by user Eugene Lau, the salesmen had attempted to sell his wife more than $300 worth of "Mao Shan Wang-quality" durians, but walked off sans durians and without payment.

When contacted by AsiaOne, Mr Lau, 33, a civil servant, said that two men knocked on the door of his HDB residence in Boon Keng at about 7pm on Thursday evening (May 4).

When his wife opened the door, the men claimed to be durian sellers from Yong Peng, Malaysia, delivering durians for their regular Singaporean customers.

"They told my wife that they were selling extra durians cheaply to those who may want them", said Mr Lau, and "they even allowed her to taste-test the fruit first".

Mao Shan Wang are superior-quality durians with rich and creamy flesh and bitter-sweet notes that typically command a premium. According to reports, prices can be as high as $18/kg.

Mr Lau's wife tried the durians and agreed to buy some from them, but when she returned to the door after getting her wallet, the men claimed to have opened up six durians.

The pair then demanded $15/kg for the fruits, insisting that she had misheard them. They weighed the fruits in front of her, and the weight came up to 23kg, which would make the total cost $345. Judging from the amount of fruit in the containers, Mr Lau said he highly doubted that they were culled from six durians.

"Obviously my wife refused to pay and called me immediately", said Mr Lau.

The boxes of durians which the sellers claimed were from six durians.Photo: Facebook/Eugene Lau

In his post, Mr Lau added: "Mind you, all this while they were standing outside my door refusing to leave as they had already opened up the durians, with a knife in their hand."

Mr Lau added that his wife had just given birth and there was only her confinement nanny, herself and their one-month old baby at home, so they were "quite scared".

After his wife called him, a furious Mr Lau told her not to give them any money as he had heard of a similar incident from a friend. He then called the police while asking his wife to stall them.

Said Mr Lau: "My wife told them that she only had $120 and had to wait for me to come home. But they asked her to hand over the $120 first and they'll come back later to collect the rest, which she refused."

After failing to get the money, they told his wife that they would be coming back later after visiting other units, and left without the durians that were already packed into plastic containers. However, they never returned.

According to Mr Lau, the police advised that "if they do return, we can try to negotiate and pay them a reasonable fee and see if they agree to settle".

Interestingly enough, one of the policemen even told Mr Lau that his mother had also been a victim of durian sellers using unscrupulous tactics.

Interestingly enough, one of the policemen even told Mr Lau that his mother had also been a victim of durian sellers using unscrupulous tactics.

But Mr Lau said even if they do return, he still intends to call the police because of their dishonest behaviour. "I want them to be apprehended," said Mr Lau.

As for the durians, Mr Lau said they are still sitting in the fridge. "But I'll eat them if they don't come back," he laughed.

Mr Lau's post has been shared more than 5,500 times on Facebook since it was uploaded last night. It has also received more than 400 comments, with many users claiming to have been a victim, or know of friends and family who had fallen victim to similar tactics by these purported durian sellers. 

Others saw the lighter side of the matter, commenting that in the least, Mr Lau managed to 'scam' the sellers of their durians.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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